Can Brent Brennan Have Breakout First Year at Arizona?

Can Brent Brennan Have Breakout First Year at Arizona?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Turbulent winds are once again disrupting the Arizona Wildcats football program on the heels of the school’s first 10-win season in nine years. This week, the Wildcats hired their third new head coach in six years.

With former San Jose State coach Brent Brennan officially slated to take over for Jedd Fisch, who left Arizona for Washington on Saturday, it’s worth wondering how first-year coaches have done at Arizona over the years.

In total, 20 different coaches have come through Arizona Stadium since Fred Enke took over the program in 1931, with those men posting a combined record of 84-118-7 (.402) in their first seasons.

Utilizing and to aid your AZ sports betting next season, broke down how each Wildcats head football coach between Enke and Fisch fared during their debut season.

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Best First-Year Performances

Coach Year Record
Jim Young19738-3
Rich Rodriguez20128-5
Tex Oliver19335-3
Warren Woodson19526-4
Miles Casteel19396-4

Despite the upheaval at coach, ESPN BET Arizona gives the Wildcats +7500 odds to win the national championship next season. That’s tied with Kansas State, Miami and Utah for 18th nationally.

Worst First-Year Performances

Coach Year Record
Jedd Fisch20211-11
Ed Doherty19571-8-1
Robert Winslow19492-7-1
Mike Stoops20043-8
Bob Weber19693-7

Although Fisch struggled out of the gate, his Wildcats teams consistently increased their expectations at Arizona betting apps.

Can Brennan Get Off to Fast Start?

Of the 20 coaches that started in Tucson between 1931 and 2021, none won more than eight games in a season, with Jim Young going 8-3 in 1973 and Rich Rodriguez posting an 8-5 mark in 2012. On the flip side, Fisch had the worst win-loss record in his first season, going 1-11 (.083) in 2021. Edward Doherty previously held the dubious honor by going 1-8-1 (.111) in 1957.

Other than Rodriguez in 2012, the only other first-year Wildcats head coach to post a winning record during their first campaign were Young in 1973, Warren Woodson in 1952 (6-4) and Tex Oliver in 1933 (5-3). In total, the 20 coaches between 1931 and 2021 won 4.2 games on average in their first year with the Wildcats.

Brennan’s first season will come on the heels of the Wildcats breakout performance in 2023 and come in a new conference. Arizona has home games against New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Texas Tech, Houston and West Virginia, offset by road clashes against BYU, TCU, UCF and Utah in the new-look Big 12.

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Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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